Wine Review: Two Italian Dry Rieslings Made by Elena Walch and Abbazia di Novacella

I am writing this review with some trepidation as I know that most likely it will be read by fellow wine blogger and friend Oliver who authors the very enjoyable and educational blog The Winegetter (if you do not follow him already, I sure think you should!) and, most importantly, is definitely an authority when it comes to Rieslings! I think I know that his preference goes to German sweeter Rieslings, while the two wines that I am going to review today are both Italian dry Rieslings from the Alto Adige area of the Trentino Alto Adige region.

And now on to the reviews of the two wines that I tried. As usual, I will use a simplified version of the ISA wine tasting protocol that we described in a previous post: should you have doubts as to any of the terms used below please refer to that post for a refresher.

1. Elena Walch, Alto Adige Riesling “Castel Ringberg” 2010 DOC (12.5% ABV; ab. €15 in Italy)

Elena Walch, Alto Adige Riesling "Castel Ringberg" 2010 DOCElena Walch is one of my favorite producers of white wines from Alto Adige and, let me say it upfront, her Castel Ringberg did not disappoint me!

This is a single vineyard wine made of 100% Riesling grapes grown in the Castel Ringberg vineyard near the town of Caldaro. It was fermented and rested on its lees exclusively in stainless steel tanks. Unfortunately, although other Elena Walch’s wines are available in the US, this wine does not appear to be, which is a shame.

In the glass, the wine was straw yellow and quite thick.

On the nose, its bouquet was intensecomplex and fine, with pleasant aromas of petrol (very discernible), followed by grapefruit, citrus, pear, minerals and herbs.

In the mouth, it was dryquite warmsmoothfresh and tasty, with medium body. The wine was balanced, with intense and fine mouth flavors that trailed the wine’s bouquet. It had a long finish and it was ready in terms of its evolutionary state.

Overall, a very pleasant, fresh dry Riesling with a captivating bouquet.

Rating: Very Good Very Good – €

(Explanation of our Rating and Pricing Systems)

2. Abbazia di Novacella, Alto Adige Valle Isarco Riesling “Praepositus” 2009 DOC (13% ABV; ab. $35 in the US)

Abbazia di Novacella, Alto Adige Valle Isarco Riesling "Praepositus" 2009 DOCThis wine is part of Abbazia di Novacella’s premium line “Praepositus”. It is made of 100% Riesling grapes, grown in vineyards with an outstanding density of 6,000 vines/HA and harvested for 2/3 in October and 1/3 in December (late harvest). It was fermented in stainless steel vats and aged in bottle for 9 months before being released to the market.

In the glass, the wine was straw yellow with greenish hintsquite thick.

On the nose, its bouquet was intensequite complex and fine, with aromas of petroleum, grapefruit, lime and Granny Smith apple.

In the mouth, it was dryquite warmquite smoothfresh and tastymedium-bodied. The wine was balanced, with intense and fine mouth flavors. It had a long finish and was ready as to its evolutionary state.

Overall, another very pleasant dry Riesling, although it personally impressed me a touch less than the Castel Ringberg, especially due to its narrower bouquet.

Rating: Good to Very Good Good to Very Good – $$

 

(Explanation of our Rating and Pricing Systems)

At any rate, two Italian dry Rieslings that I would certainly recommend and that I am pretty sure would not disappoint you.

That’s all for today! As always, if you have tasted either one (or both!) of these wines, make sure to share your thoughts by leaving a comment below!

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About Stefano

I am a photographer and an ISA certified sommelier. I contribute to two blogs, Flora's Table (the fine cooking and wine blog - www.florastable.com) and Clicks & Corks (my photography and wine blog - www.clicksandcorks.com). My photography Web site is at www.LightQuill.com
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8 Responses to Wine Review: Two Italian Dry Rieslings Made by Elena Walch and Abbazia di Novacella

  1. GreedyFrog says:

    You make me want to drink wine. I an pretty sure there must be some government guidelines against this… 😀

  2. Generally I am not too fond of Rieslings but my experience has been mostly with the sweeter variety. I don’t know if I have ever tasted an Italian before, being more on the dry side appeals to me. Your reviews as always are excellent and I know I won’t be disappointed.

    • Stefano says:

      Suzanne, I hear you re sweet Rieslings. Trust me, if you get to try out either one of these bottles I am pretty sure you will not be disappointed as they are absolutely dry wines.
      Thank you for your kind comment.

  3. I like Riesling, I prefer dry Riesling and would usually look to Alsace or sometimes New Zealand for a bottle. I don’t usually associate Italy and the Riesling, so thank you for encouraging me to spread the my vinous net wider. 😉

  4. ChgoJohn says:

    Not one but 2 dry rieslings from Italy? My education continues …
    Thanks, Stefano, for sharing your knowledge and love of wine with us.

  5. These look absolutely delicious to be paired with some of our Northwest seafood! This weekend…..

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